Channel 4 FactCheck goes behind the spin to dig out the truth and separate political fact from fiction.

November 27, 2014 1 Comment By Patrick Worrall

27 ferguson 3 FactCheck: do black Americans commit more crime?

The claim

“It’s important to note that black men commit nearly half of all murders in this country, which is astounding when you take into consideration the fact that they only make up 12-13 per cent of the population.”
“James”, 26 November 2014

The analysis

There were angry protests across America this week after a grand jury decided a white police officer should not stand trial for the killing of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

FactCheck has already looked at the statistics on killings by law enforcement officials. Though imperfect, the official figures suggest blacks are disproportionately likely to die at the hands of police.

Several people have left comments pointing out that this is not necessarily surprising or unfair, since blacks are also disproportionately likely to be involved in violent crime in the US, thereby putting themselves in the firing line.

One reader, “James”, wrote: “It’s important to note that black men commit nearly half of all murders in this country, which is astounding when you take into consideration the fact that they only make up 12-13 per cent of the population.

“So, given this fact, does it make sense that black men are disproportionately involved in shootings with the police? Your graph is appropriately proportionate, when you take into consideration the role that the black population plays in, not just murder, but crime in general.”

“Sean” said: “If one group is more likely to be involved in that then they are more likely to be killed by the police – so they have nothing to complain about if that is the case.”

We thought we’d check these claims out. (more…)

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November 25, 2014 20 Comments By Patrick Worrall

Ferguson was ablaze last night after it emerged that a policeman who shot dead a black teenager will not be charged. Is Michael Brown’s killing an isolated case?

Category: Crime
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November 21, 2014 2 Comments By Patrick Worrall

If Ukip can win in Rochester, they can win anywhere, according to Nigel Farage. Could the rest of England turn purple next year?

Category: FactCheck, UKIP
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November 20, 2014 5 Comments By Patrick Worrall

A multinational is pouring money into the search for shale gas deep under the British countryside. But what are the real risks of “fracking”?

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November 18, 2014 5 Comments By Patrick Worrall

The average graduate is saddled with more than £40,000 of debt, according to research. Do you earn enough from a degree to make it worthwhile?

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November 14, 2014 2 Comments By Patrick Worrall

David Cameron wants to cancel the passports of people suspected of fighting for groups like Islamic State. Is he going far enough?

Category: Conservatives
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November 13, 2014 7 Comments By Patrick Worrall

Boris Johnson claims to have delivered record numbers of affordable homes. So why is housing still so expensive in London?

Category: FactCheck, Housing
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November 5, 2014 16 Comments By Patrick Worrall

Do immigrants pay their way, or are they a drain on the economy? FactCheck looks at the latest evidence.

Category: FactCheck, UKIP
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November 3, 2014 4 Comments By Patrick Worrall

Manchester is getting more money and power. In return, George Osborne wants an elected mayor. Cynical politics or a good day for democracy.

Category: Conservatives, FactCheck, George Osborne
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October 31, 2014 2 Comments By Patrick Worrall

The government says the European Arrest Warrant makes Britain safer. But some MPs hate it. Who’s right?

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